The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of the time-honored traditions we’re all familiar with. One of them is parents bringing home their newborn babies to a warm welcome from family and friends. This happy event typically used to be followed by a stream of visitors from near and far. But with the virus still posing a health risk, parents are finding they must modify this approach.
This doesn’t mean that the arrival of your new bundle of joy should be downplayed. It simply means you should be cautious about how you introduce your baby to family and friends.
How to Keep Your New Baby Safe Today
Coming home from the hospital with your newborn today requires a little more planning than it might have before COVID-19, but it still can be a joyous occasion. Below are 10 helpful tips and important considerations as you expand your household.
- Use technology to introduce your baby to family and friends. You’d love to see your family members and friends beaming as they hold your newborn. Unfortunately, that may pose an unnecessary risk to your baby. Your loved ones will be just as happy to cuddle your little one when it’s safer down the road. For now, schedule some time using video chat technology to let people meet the baby. And, if you have family members who aren’t familiar with videoconferencing, do some practice sessions before your baby arrives to help them get comfortable.
- Arrange for grocery delivery or curbside pick-up. It’s best if you get your groceries without spending time inside the store. Plan for grocery delivery or learn about your favorite store’s curbside pick-up process. Then use the service a few times before your baby is born just to work out any kinks in the process. If you want to have food delivered and that service isn’t available in your area, maybe a family member or friend can make trips for you and leave the groceries at your front door.
- Talk with your doctor about breastfeeding if you contract COVID-19. Research continues regarding whether the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through breast milk. If you contract COVID-19, talk with your doctor about how best to meet your baby’s nutritional needs.
- Get outside for walks or drives. Minimizing visitors and trips to the store can make you feel cooped up in your home. Taking walks in uncrowded outdoor areas is a great way to get a change of scenery and to aid in mom’s recovery from childbirth. Taking a leisurely drive is another way to prevent or cure cabin fever.
- Make and keep postpartum doctor visits. While you may be trying to limit your interactions with others, mom’s and baby’s checkups are crucial to keeping both healthy and happy. Don’t skip them.
- Limit in-home visits to people you know are being cautious. It’s up to you who you allow into your home and when. But it’s best if people are vaccinated and have quarantined for a few weeks before they visit. Keep in mind that COVID-19 isn’t the only virus out there. If you bring your baby home during flu season, visitors should get a flu shot, too. And, of course, if someone becomes ill just before a planned visit, you should reschedule with them.
- Remember to share the love with siblings. Brothers and sisters should continue to feel valued after you bring your newborn home. Just keep in mind that if your other children are in school, you need to be careful about their contact with the baby.
- Plan a virtual celebration. Some videoconferencing technology allows multiple people to join a session together. This can be a great way to have a virtual party and for you to enjoy all the happy chatter of participants.
- Keep mom’s mental health in mind and stay connected. Being pregnant, giving birth, and caring for a newborn all are hard work. In pre-COVID-19 times, a family member or close friend might sit down next to mom in a quiet moment and ask how she’s doing. That type of care and concern is still important even if it now needs to be expressed remotely.
- Make the most of this bonding time. The silver lining to the COVID-19 cloud is that parents and siblings have more time to bond with a new baby when there aren’t multiple visits on the calendar.
Talk with Your Doctor About COVID-19 and Your Newborn
These are unusual times we’re living in, and you probably have lots of questions for your doctor about the health of your newborn and your family. Don’t hesitate to ask those questions. If you don’t yet have a Baptist Health doctor for yourself or your baby, you can find providers in our online provider directory.
Next Steps and Useful Resources:
Pre-Register for Your Delivery
Find a Mother & Baby Provider
Register for a Mother & Baby Class
Take a Labor & Delivery Tour
How to Be a Mom and Still Feel Like Yourself
Fact or Fiction? Pregnancy Myths Answered [PODCAST]
Taking Care of Your Newborn
Understanding Postpartum Hair Loss